5 Bright Young Talents the Artnet Gallery Network Is Watching This May

This month we have our eyes on artists with shows in Berlin, Jersey City, and beyond.

Installation view "Shuang Li: Nobody’s Home," 2022. Courtesy of Peres Projects.

At the Artnet Gallery Network, our mission is to discover new artists each and every month. We sifted through the thousands of talented artists on our site to select a few we find particularly intriguing right now.

Beyond the hubbub of art fairs taking place this month, we’ve chosen five artists worth knowing about and who have works on view in Paris, Berlin, and beyond.


Pe Lang at Galerie Denise Rene, Paris 

Pe Lang, polarization | nº 16, 1+1EA (2018). Courtesy of Galerie Denise René.

Pe Lang, polarization | nº 16, 1+1EA (2018). Courtesy of Galerie Denise René.

Swiss artist Pe Lang (b. 1974) creates kinetic artworks that precisely control physical forces to work synchronously. Lang has a background in electronic music as well as computer programming and often his works consist of numerous identical parts, whizzing and moving in simultaneous, interdependent motions, such as spinning disks and crackling papers. These creations are informed by their own materials and are spare and elegant in effect. His works create a more subjective and aesthetic perspective on technology, asking individuals to consider their roles as observers. 


Shuang Li at Peres Projects, Berlin

Li Shuang, Will it fill our thoughts with endless night time sky (2022). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Shuang Li, Will it fill our thoughts with endless night time sky (2022). Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Chinese artist Shuang Li (b. 1990) traveled to Berlin for the opening of her first solo exhibition at Peres Projects in February 2020. Since then the artist has been living in Berlin, deciding not to return home due to the severity of its pandemic restrictions. Now, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, “nobody’s home,” is about to open and the show is in many ways an exploration of the consequences of her decision to stay in Berlin for two years of ensuring dislocation, uncertainty, and discovery. Bringing together video, sculpture, and wall works, the exhibition reflects on new forms of intimacy borne out of the pandemic as well as the relationship between the body and the screen and the body and its image. Childhood memories play an important role—the works Tears Don’t Fall and Heartbeats Pound Softer are named for anime the artist remembers fondly, while other works are inspired by barrettes she wore in her hair as a girl. 


Bea Bonafini at Setareh, Düsseldorf

Bea Bonafini, Alluvial (2022). Courtesy of Setareh.

Bea Bonafini, Alluvial (2022). Courtesy of Setareh.

Interdisciplinary artist Bea Bonafini creates mixed-media works that draw from both personal and ancient mythologies. Her works often incorporate textiles and ceramics, on which she paints. She draws from classical references—mosaics and decorative arts of churches and ruins—which she transforms into her own images that explore realms of fantasy, spirituality, and sensuality in the contemporary world. 


Max Vesuvius Budnick at Deep Space Gallery, Jersey City 

Max Vesuvius Budnick, Behind Pretty Things (2022). Courtesy of Deep Space Gallery

Emerging artist Max Vesuvius Budnick has several of his botanically focused still lifes on view in the group show “Material World” at Jersey City’s Deep Space Gallery. Budnick’s imagery ranges from a compressed and flattened style reminiscent of Matisse and even Jonas Wood, as well as pop-inspired ceramic objects, like coffee mugs and plates.


Julian-Jakob Kneer at Blue Velvet Projects, Zurich

Julian-Jakob Kneer, DER MANN DER LACHT ((2022). Courtesy of Blue Velvet Projects.

Julian-Jakob Kneer, DER MANN DER LACHT (2022). Courtesy of Blue Velvet Projects.

Berlin-based Swiss artist Julian-Jakob Kneer’s solo exhibition “Shooting Star” at Blue Velvet Projects is a disquieting dive into questions of cultural narcissism. The artist has developed a body of work that explores the world of his fictitious—and disturbed—doppelganger, an idea that arose through conversations with curatorial duo Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou. The exhibition space is filled with cinematic installations and sculptures that create an office-meets-dungeon environment in black and metallic silver. The exhibition is a distressing look into the darkest aspects of celebrity culture and the construction of self.

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